52 Foods That Start with Y

Whether you’re working on a school project, solving a crossword puzzle, or eager to enhance your culinary skills, we’ve compiled a thorough list of foods that start with the letter Y for you.

1. Yabby

This Aussie crayfish you should really get acquainted with. Resembling lobster, both in appearance and taste, it’s sweet with a distinct earthy undertone. Throw them on the barbie (grill), or stick’em in a pan with butter and garlic. Divine!

2. Yacón

Fancy a sweet potato that tastes like a cross between an apple and a watermelon? Who would want that? Well, everyone. Despite its sweetness, yacón is low in calories, diabetic-friendly, great in salads or cooked into jams and syrups.

3. Yahni

Used across various cultures, yahni refers to dishes that share one common element: slow-cooking. Turkish yahni focuses on the tangy sweetness of tomatoes, while Indian versions incorporate fragrant spices, like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and cardamom.

4. Yakhnet Batata

This Lebanese potato stew is simmered with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices such as cumin and coriander. Its hearty flavors make it a comforting dish, often enjoyed with rice or bread.

5. Yakhni Pulao

Savor a traditional Kashmiri recipe: fragrant rice cooked in a broth infused with meat, yogurt, and aromatic spices including cardamom and cloves. Lighter and milder than biryani, it allows the simple ingredients to shine.

6. Yaki Onigiri

When plain rice feels lackluster, yaki onigiri comes to the rescue. These grilled rice balls filled with plums (umeboshi), salmon, or seasoned seaweed (nori), become caramelized and imbued with a subtle smokiness, adding crunchiness and excitement.

7. Yakisoba

Ask for yakisoba (yah-kee-soh-bah) in any Japanese restaurant and you’ll get some amazing stir-fried noodles. It typically has pork or seafood mixed with cabbage, carrots, and onions, all coated in a Worcestershire-style sauce.

8. Yaki Udon

Otherwise known as fried udon, these thick, chewy noodles make any meal particularly hearty. Add vegetables, meat (generally pork) and a savory-sweet umami sauce of mirin, dashi, soy sauce, and you’re feasting on a true Japanese delight.

9. Yakitori

Scattered throughout Japan are yakitori-ya, compact shops specializing in grilled skewered chicken. Their allure? An irresistible tare sauce blending mirin, sake, sugar, and soy sauce, enveloping each bite with savory-sweet goodness.

10. Yali Pear

Unlike most other varieties, yali remain crisp even when ripe, making them ideal for crunchy salads and baking. They’re firm, almost like an apple, have a nice yellow-green skin, and taste sweet with floral notes.

11. Yam

Yams are often confused with sweet potatoes in Western countries, but they belong to different botanical families. True yams are more closely related to lilies and grasses, and can get quite large, like more than 15 kg (ca. 33 lb.).

12. Yamarita

Speaking of yams, yamarita is a popular street food in Nigeria, consisting of sliced yams coated in a seasoned batter and then deep-fried. You can get them dipped in a spicy tomato sauce or served with a side of mayonnaise.

13. Yangchow Fried Rice

You might know this as “combination fried rice” or “house fried rice,” basically a recipe that uses a more extensive array of ingredients – shrimp, ham, carrots, peas, chicken or pork, sometimes together.

14. Yangmei

Also known as Chinese bayberry, these are small, round fruits with smooth skin ranging from bright red to dark purple when ripe. The taste is often compared to a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and lychees.

15. Yankee Pot Roast

Slow-cooked beef, taters, onions, and carrots simmered in savory broth. It’s a taste of tradition, comfort, ‘n good ol’ American cookin’ for Sunday suppers ‘n family gatherings.

16. Yardlong Beans

Yardlong beans have a unique texture that is crisp and crunchy, even after cooking. They’re slightly nutty or grassy, with a hint of sweetness, and are commonly used in Asian cuisines for stir-fries or just sautéed.

17. Yassa

It’s all in the marinade! Onions, lemons, mustard, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers combine their spicy powers to infuse chicken (or fish) with incredible flavor. Grilling adds the right amount of char for a dish that’s both bold and delicious.

18. Yatsuhashi

Initially created as temple offerings, yatsuhashi evolved into a cherished Kyoto souvenir, and become associated with the city’s tea ceremony culture. Crafted from glutinous rice flour and flavored with cinnamon, it delights visitors with its delicate sweetness.

19. Yautia

This root vegetable is native to the Caribbean and Central America and is an edible tuber similar to potatoes or taro. From hearty soups to crispy fritters, its mild flavor and starchy texture elevate dishes with Caribbean flair.

20. Yeast

A fascinating single-celled fungi essential to human culture for millennia. It’s what makes dough airy and transforms sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide, giving rise to bread and brewing the elixirs of beer and wine.

21. Yellow Apple

Several varieties fall into this category, including Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Gala, each offering a balance of sweetness and tartness. Natural pigments called carotenoids provide that yellow hue, same as in carrots and pumpkins.

22. Yellow Beet

Unlike red beets, the yellow variety doesn’t bleed color when cooked, so use them to visually improve salads, soups, and roasts. They’re also a bit sweet, less earthy, almost citrusy.

23. Yellow Cake

Mastering this simple recipe will make you a big hit at any celebration. Yellow cake has a versatile base that pairs well with various frostings, fillings, fruits, and toppings for endless delicious creations.

24. Yellow Moong Dal

The star of many Indian dishes, especially flavorful and nutritious lentil soup or stew. Not only that, it’s also used in khichdi (a one-pot rice and lentil dish), dosa (a savory crepe), and dhokla (a steamed snack).

25. Yellow Pepper

Spruce up your salads, sandwiches, and vegetable platters with a bit of color and a nice crunch. Yellow peppers are rich in vitamins, high in fiber and bring a mild sweet taste to your cooking.

26. Yellow Plum

There are a few types of yellow plums, but the Mirabelle variety is particularly interesting. They are renowned for having exceptionally sweet and flavorful flesh, which has a delicate floral aroma and a hint of tartness.

27. Yellow Squash

Yellow squash is typically in season during the summer months, hence the name “summer squash.” It thrives in warm weather and is readily available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores during its peak season.

28. Yellow Watermelon

A recent addition through selective breeding, yellow watermelons offer a twist on the classic fruit. Though their color differs, taste remains largely unchanged, perhaps with a slight increase in sweetness.

29. Yellowfin Tuna

Served raw as sushi or grilled, yellowfin tuna is a popular choice, lean and full of essential vitamins and minerals. Beyond its culinary prowess, it’s one of the fastest fish, reaching speeds of up to 47 mph (ca. 76 km/h). It also counts among the most expensive tuna species out there.

30. Yellowtail Fish

Watching yellowtail transform into sushi is a treat in itself. From the precision of sushi chefs to the final presentation, it’s a culinary journey that captivates, providing an unforgettable dining experience.

31. Yerba Mate

This South American beverage is prepared by steeping the dried leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant in hot water. Sipped from a traditional gourd with a bombilla straw, it offers an earthy taste and strong caffeine kick.

32. Yiros (Gyros)

Souvlaki Wrap with Octopus

Everyone knows what a yiros (gyro) is. It’s that iconic Greek handheld delight featuring succulent slices of meat, crisp veggies, and tangy tzatziki sauce, all wrapped in warm, pillowy pita bread—a taste of Mediterranean bliss.

33. Yodels (snack cakes)

This classic American snack cake is made by Drake’s Cakes. These cylindrical treats consist of moist chocolate cake rolled around a creamy filling, then coated in a layer of rich chocolate icing.

34. Yogurt

There are many varieties of yogurt available, including plain, Greek, flavored, and low-fat or non-fat options. Greek yogurt, in particular, is strained to remove excess whey, resulting in a thicker consistency and higher protein content.

35. Yolk (Egg Yolks)

The yolk’s emulsifying properties make it a key ingredient in many sauces and dressings. When combined with oil and an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice), the yolk helps to create a smooth, stable emulsion, as seen in mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce.

36. Yorkshire Pudding

You only need a simple batter of flour, eggs, milk, and salt to make your Yorkshire. Bake in a hot oven until it puffs up and becomes golden brown, for that crispy exterior and soft, custardy interior.

37. Yorkshire Teacakes

Put the kettle on, you’re gonna need a nice warm cuppa to enjoy these soft, sweet bread rolls filled with dried fruit. Currants or raisins are commonly used, but experiment with sultanas, mixed peel, berries…and plenty of cinnamon.

38. Youngberry

This hybrid berry was created by crossing various blackberry cultivars with dewberries, resulting in a sweet and flavorful fruit with a dark purple to black color when ripe.

39. Youtiao

Youtiao, a staple breakfast in China, pairs perfectly with rice porridge, soy milk, but can be can be joyed just on its own. Its light, airy texture and crispy exterior make it a delightful morning indulgence.

40. Yoyos

In some regions, yoyo biscuits are affectionately known as “melting moments,” reflecting their soft, crumbly texture that melts in the mouth. This alternate name highlights their beloved status, particularly in Australia and New Zealand.

41. Yquem

This comes from the prestigious winery located in the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, France, acclaimed for producing some of the world’s finest sweet white wines. Yquem is highly prized for its exceptional quality, complexity, and aging potential.

42. Yuca

Yuca, or, as its more commonly known, cassava, is a starchy root vegetable that can substitute potatoes. Among the many uses you have tapioca pearls for bubble teas and for making biofuels.

43. Yukon Gold Potatoes

Developed in the 1960s by Canadian plant breeder Gary Johnston, this type of potato has a really buttery flavor and creamy texture. They are excellent for making mashed potatoes, gratins, soups, salads, and casseroles.

44. Yule Log

The Yule log cake is an integral part of Christmas celebrations in many European countries, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It serves as the centerpiece of the holiday dessert table, alongside other traditional sweets.

45. Yum-Yum Sauce

There’s nothing better than this sauce to go with Japanese hibachi-style dishes. Also known as shrimp sauce or white sauce, it’s a creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet creation, with a hint of garlic and plenty of umami.

46. Yuzu

Aromatic and tangy, yuzu is a versatile ingredient used in Japanese & Asian cuisine. Its unique flavor profile, reminiscent of grapefruit and mandarin, adds brightness and complexity to a variety of dishes.

47. Yōkan

A lot of artistry goes into making yōkan. From crafting the smooth, velvety red bean paste to achieving the perfect firm jelly texture, each step is carefully executed to create this beloved Japanese delicacy.

48. Yirgacheffe coffee

Whether you’re a connoisseur or simply enjoy a cup now and then, Ethiopian yirgacheffe coffee is a must-try. Its medium body, bright acidity, and complex flavor profile featuring hints of citrus, berries, and jasmine make it a truly exceptional brew.

49. Yibin Ranmian (Burning Noodles)

A popular street food dish right in the heart of Sichuan province in China. It’s made by tossing freshly boiled noodles with a spicy and aromatic sauce of chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, sliced meat, vegetables, peanuts, and cilantro.

50. Yaki Imo

Maybe a grilled potato doesn’t seem like appropriate street food, but it’s all the rage in Japan. Sweet potatoes are roasted over an open flame until soft and caramelized. This intensifies the natural sweetness and makes even them more delectable.

51. Yuba

Derived from soy milk, yuba’s thin, translucent sheets bring a touch of elegance to Asian cuisine. With its chewy texture and delicate flavor, it adds depth and richness to soups, stir-fries, and salads.

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